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April Paul (Submitted photo)

2021 Unsung Legal Heroes: April Paul

Paralegals sometimes develop an unshakable bond with attorneys and follow them throughout their careers. They create a team, with the paralegal providing everything from legal research to human resources.

April Paul has worked with attorney Sheila Engelmeier for nearly three decades. They can almost finish each other’s sentences. Today, Paul wears a variety of hats as a “paralegal/facilities and office services administrator” for Engelmeier & Umanah. The firm started in 2009, “during the Great Recession, and is still going strong,” Paul said.

She enjoys the variety as “Sheila allows me the opportunity to do many different things,” she said. “Right now, I’m doing some HR and benefits administration, paralegal, office management and secretarial work.”

When E&U recently upgraded to a new office, Paul helped design the workspace and oversaw the vendors. “She’s done everything from finding bargains at the Dollar Store to ensure E&U made it through the first few months in the black, to holding the hands of C-suite executives in challenging times,” Engelmeier wrote in her nomination.

Paul started her legal career in the copy room at Dorsey & Whitney before working as a secretary and paralegal. In 1992 she started working with Engelmeier and never left, following her to three law firms. When Engelmeier launched her practice Paul once again came on board. E&U focuses on employment law, tax, estate planning, probate and business matters.

The firm has worked on many interesting cases, including a federal Equal Pay Act claim against the country of Norway after E&U’s client discovered a colleague at the same level earned more than her. Paul said she likes the legal profession’s unpredictability and assisting clients stay strong through the storm. “You have to be prepared for everything, because you just never know what will be needed,” Paul said.

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